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Lakshadweep activist Aisha Sultana moves Kerala HC to quash sedition charges

A case under Sections 124 A and 153 B was registered against Sultana, a native of Chetlat island, based on a petition filed by BJP’s Lakshadweep unit president, Abdul Khader.

Published: 02nd July 2021 10:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd July 2021 10:32 AM   |  A+A-

Filmmaker Aisha Sultana

Filmmaker Aisha Sultana (Photo | Facebook)

By Express News Service

KOCHI: Filmmaker-activist Aisha Sultana has approached the Kerala High Court seeking to quash the sedition case registered against her for the controversial remarks that the centre government had used Covid-19 as a 'bio-weapon' against the islanders.

The High Court had granted her bail observing that prima facie the offences, including the sedition charge, alleged against Lakshadweep filmmaker Aisha Sultana are not attracted.

Justice Ashok Menon will consider the plea later today.

A case under Sections 124 A (sedition) and 153 B (assertions against national integration) was registered against Sultana, a native of Chetlat island, based on a petition filed by BJP’s Lakshadweep unit president, Abdul Khader. The prosecution alleged that on June 7, in a TV channel discussion, she allegedly stated that the central government had used 'bio weapon' against the natives of the island.

The petition stated that the offence alleged against her did not come under Section 124 A of IPC as the words are spoken or written has to bring about hatred, contempt or displeasure against a government and such words should have resulted in imminent violence. There was no case that the statement of the petitioner has created disaffection towards the government. The criticism on political matters, candid and honest discussion itself do not constitute an offence of sedition. It was further argued that the offences under Section 153 B of the IPC also will not stand against Aisha Sultana as the words spoken is not prejudicial to national integration or causing disharmony.

The alleged statements of the petitioner can only be termed as an expression of disapprobation of actions of the government and its functionaries so that the prevailing situation could be addressed quickly and effectively. She never intended to incite people or disturbance of public peace by resorting to violence.

The statement made by the petitioner in the TV Channel discussion will have to be taken in its entirety and words cannot be taken in isolation to suggest a motive. In this case, it would suffice to say that prima-facie did not have a malicious motive to subvert the government. Her intention is explicitly in criticism of the modification of the COVID SOP introduced by the administrator, stated the petition.



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